In a time when too many people are relying on social media, I always encourage students to have an email list. In order to grow a list, you need good opt-in ideas that resonate with your audience. That’s why I spend a few modules in my group coaching program on opt-ins and list building.

What is an opt-in?

An opt-in is some sort of freebie that you give away to your audience in exchange for their name and email. This is used to grow your list of leads that you can market to via email.

As I’ve previously mentioned, this is extremely important because we can’t solely rely on social media. You don’t need to go too far back to see how Facebook changed the rules on small business owners…again. If you have an email list, then you have less to worry about.

Here are some of the things you want to keep in mind when coming up with opt-in ideas.

Give your market what they want

The secret to coming up with good opt-in ideas is market research. The students in my group program don’t do anything without first having gone through the market research modules. It’s designed this way for a reason – your market dictates your moves.

That being said, create opt-in ideas based on what your market tells you. For example, when I conducted my own market research, my market told me they wanted more content on earning money. Up until that point, I was focused on budget spreadsheets. With the new information, I created simple templates that help them pitch media and find their blogging niche.

Lo and behold, the latter two opt-in ideas are performing much better than the personal finance opt-ins ever did. I’m even in the process of changing my website header to reflect the new direction.

Keep it simple

My highest performing opt-in ideas are those that are very simple. For example, people consistently ask me how to pitch clients and media. As a result, one of my opt-ins is a free template where I show them the exact email I use to pitch.

That’s it.

There’s no twenty-page e-book. There’s no high-quality video series. It’s just an email template that gives a simple solution. And you know what? It converts like crazy.

Have multiple options

I teach my students to have more than one opt-in that they rotate on social media. At the end of the day, you want to give people options. You also want to segment your list for certain things and you want to test different ideas

I currently have four different opt-ins that I’m testing to see which converts best. All of these are based on the first step I mention which is market research. My opt-ins are as follows:

I rotate each of these on social media daily. As a result, I don’t spend much money on advertising to grow my list.

Final Thoughts

As a business owner, you must build your email list through different opt-in ideas. At the end of the day, these are the people who are most likely to buy from you anyway. Use these tips to make it enticing for them to join your list so you can market to them.